The Top Twenty Toys Of The Past Century

children playing
What was your favorite toy as a child?
Children’s Museum

What was your favorite toy as a child? What was that one thing you had to play with when you got home from school? What went with you on every family trip? The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis asked its visitors this question and has arrived at a list of the ‘100 Toys (& their Stories) that Define Our Childhood.’ Visitors then chose the top 20 and will soon vote on their three most favorite toys.

More than 20,000 Children’s Museum of Indianapolis online visitors and fans participated in the survey. The list of 20 iconic toys includes:

G.I. Joe® Etch A Sketch® Transformers®
Candy Land® Barbie® Hot Wheels®
Raggedy Ann® Bicycle Lincoln Logs®
Crayons Play-Doh® View-Master®
Silly® Putty MONOPOLY® Roller Skates
Cabbage Patch Kids® Little Golden Books® Mr. Potato Head®
Spirograph™ LEGO® Toys

Now, visitors can vote for their favorites among the top 20, which will ultimately determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners.

Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis noted, “Toys can play such an integral role in inspiring people of all ages to let their imaginations explore infinite possibilities and in some cases problem solve while contributing to family learning and the development of memories.” Speaking of the Museum’s poll he said, “We’ve enjoyed hearing how various toys affected individuals, families and multiple generations. With so many engaged fans sharing their stories, we are sure there will be much spirited debate as to the order for the final 20 and we look forward to hearing even more stories for each of these.”

In mid-July, The Children’s Museum asked for public input to help choose and share their own memories of the most iconic toys from the past century, from 1910 to the present, that define childhood. Museum visitors and online fans answered the call providing more than 20,000 votes in the first four weeks and submitting more than 600 stories from their own childhood memories.

Patchen commented, “The public truly turned out en masse to not only vote, but to share stories of their own favorite toys. Childhood memories were provided by fans across the nation and internationally as well — with stories submitted from Germany, Canada and Australia. Thanks to stories and votes shared by a passionate and nostalgic public, the toys leading the pack of online votes changed many times with everything from View-Master®, to Barbie®, to Transformers®, to G.I. Joe® topping the list at different points during the voting period.”

Voting to determine the final order for the top 20 runs through Sept. 7, 2012, and results will be announced to the public on September 11, 2012. To view the top 20 list of toys, vote and share your own toy story, visit The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis online at

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